Monday, July 03, 2006

"The three things I love to do most in the world is sit on my ass, drink coffee and listen to jazz." --Richard Fulton

Sunday, Malibu Bluffs. 7:00 a.m., and it is evident already that today will be much warmer than the weather forecasted.

There is a haze just a few miles offshore, allowing the tranquil, rippling sea to fade from a grayish blue to a dirty white.

The occasional breaker lands on the shore below with enough vigor to make the soft soothing sounds of a gentle wave.

The surfers were all at Castellamare, where the shoreline abruptly turns left and begins running eat-west instead of north-south. No where else is appears are the waves sufficient to warrant their attention; yet so many heads were bobbing up and down on the swells like seagulls one wondered how anyone would get a chance to ride a wave.

The birds trill and squawk with a Sunday morning lassitude.

The seagulls, by far the largest, are far below along the shore; most of the others are no bigger than finches, venture inland, perched upon the flimsliest of branches in the brush. Small wonder --there are bugs a-plenty for them to feast on.


I finally got to read one of the articles in the twin three-foot stacks I've culled from newspapers and magazines over the last few months... this header is from a story in the LA Weekly by Matthew Duerstein on a documentary about Leimert Park.

For those of you who never got to meet him, Richard Fulton, known to everyone as "Fifth Street Dick," was an urban legend that could never have been dreamed up by any screenwriter. He made his dream into a reality: a coffee house with poetry readings,
jam sessions (sometimes with big names sliding in unannounced to listen or join in), and so much more.

Man oh man, do I miss perusing the selection of mags and newspapers from all over the diaspora, and sitting down for an espresso and a heaping wallop of peach cobbler at Fifth Street Dick's. As the Leimert Park arts district grew, locals got used to the jazz caravan bus from KLON pulling up in front. The ever increasing number of arts festivals that would take over the neighborhood got increasing notice from a broad cross section of people --academics, musicians, struggling artists, students, African-American intelligentsia in need of sanctuary, black entertainers and sports celebrities, jazz aficionados, and more... It was an incredible example of a community forming without the aid of urban planners or politicians --although they found their way down to the corner of Degnan and 43rd in due time.

It got to be where I even cursed myself for having brought possibly one-too-many people to experience the vibe around Leimert Park. It's been almost a decade since nearly Dick passed away, yet the World Stage still lives on, and his eponymous cafe has survived around the corner from its original location in the space occupied by the Lucy Florence coffee house.

Critical Miami has this cool (and scary) animation of a Category One through Five hurricane. For any one who like to get stoned in front of the computer, you might really get a kick out of it. It's only a matter of time before someone adds a soundtrack to it.

While reading Critical Miami I also came across another really cool site, LibraryThing. If the first thing you check out in someone's home are the book titles on their shelves (assuming in this day and age that they even have books) you'll get a kick out of it; I can hardly wait to do it myself. But it's a holiday, and I'm too lethargic, so not yet.

I saw that Eduardo Santiago's novel Tomorrow They Will Kiss, is on the shelves at bookstores. I came across a new (to me, at least) book by bell hooks, Outlaw Culture. And the oversized book that made me have to leave the store because I got all choked up I'll have eventually return to finish reading, about the Anne Frank house.

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